A Review of ESL KidStuff
Having taught ESL to children in Japan for over ten years, I know how important it is to have a good selection of resources. Kids get tired of doing the same thing again and again, and even the most enjoyable games, activities, and materials can become boring if used too much. Yes, some children are very difficult to please!
One of my reasons for starting ESL-Kids.com was to give myself and other teachers a new resource from which to get materials. Variety is key, and that's why you can never have enough flash cards, worksheets and games to choose from. Many teachers travel across the world and find themselves in a school with nothing more than a few textbooks, and maybe some picture cards if they are lucky. Sure, some schools are well equipped, but others have next to nothing and expect you to magically capture the attention and imagination of a group of confused children.
I'm very proud of what I have put together so far on this site, but I realize it still falls way short of providing enough material to fill a curriculum. That's why I often find myself going to ESL KidStuff to get something relevant to what I'm teaching, or some different flash cards to use with my kids. If there's one place that is complete enough to supplement an entire curriculum, it's ESL KidStuff.
ESL KidStuff: Behind-the-scenes
On your first visit to ESL KidStuff, you are greeted with a snazzy looking site, offering lists of games, teaching tips, ESL articles, and some nice song sheets among other things. However, what we are really interested in is the flashcards and worksheets, and with the exception of a limited "tour", there isn't much for non-members to use. Well, I'm a member, and I'm going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at one of the best resources on the internet for teaching ESL to children.
Once logged in, ESL KidStuff members can go directly to either the huge list of flashcards or the equally long list of worksheets. Both sections are organized alphabetically, and by theme, so you can find what you need quickly and easily.
ESL KidStuff Flashcards
The flashcard list includes all the usual topics: alphabet, actions, animals, family, food, and sports to name a few, but you are also treated to bathroom objects, furniture, footwear, health, nature, and much more. I counted 78 different themes in total, containing over 1,500 flashcards! Choosing a theme brings up small thumbnails of each flashcard, each one available in either color or black and white.
Each flashcard is saved as a .pdf file so the quality is excellent, and you can choose to print either an entire set, or just the cards you need. You can also print a backing card with the theme's title on it, and word cards that match the set. Either use the word cards separately, or stick them on the back of the pictures.
ESL KidStuff Worksheets
There are over 1,000 different worksheets available to ESL KidStuff members. The quality varies from worksheet to worksheet, but it's the range of worksheets that impresses me the most. My own worksheet generator, as much as I love it, will never replace hand-made worksheets tailored to different grammar patterns, as well as vocabulary. There are plenty of coloring and matching activities, along with cut-out craft ideas. You can find worksheets to teach motor skills, as well as spelling, crosswords and handwriting exercises. Bingo sheets, mazes, gap-fills, you name it, it's there.
How much does it cost?
Membership at ESL KidStuff doesn't come free. In fact, it costs $29 for one year. I actually resisted for a long time before I realized that if I saw 1,500 flashcards and 1,000 worksheets in a bookstore for that price, I'd buy them in an instant! For some reason, we expect everything for free on the internet and are shocked if we have to pay. In the case of ESL KidStuff however, it really is money well spent.
Visit ESL KidStuff.